Thoughts by Bonnie, October 2017

Thoughts by Bonnie, October 2017

October’s breath of cooler, fresh air is certainly welcome after the summer we have just experienced. Though hurricane season is not over yet, this past summer will be remembered as one of the most destructive hurricane seasons ever, with Harvey, Irma and Maria leaving a path of destruction in Texas, the southeastern states and the Caribbean. As water remains a problem in the south, fires in the northwest are causing another path of destruction, sending plumes of smoke over much of the region. Add to that, the earthquakes. One in Mexico City took more than 300 lives. An earthquake in North Korea near a nuclear test site added to tensions as the nation’s leader continues threats of hydrogen bomb tests.

A lot is going on in the world today. But during all of this chaos I noticed a few things worth sharing. Before Harvey blew through, our country was in the middle of a controversy that made headlines as riots broke out while states decided what to do with Confederate statues. After the storm, images on television changed from hatred to caring, as people of all colors were helping each other. Black, white, rich, poor—the storm had no prejudice of who would suffer.

A story in The New York Times shared the account of Harvey’s effect on Houston, “battering poor and rich with similar ferocity.”

The article shares the story about man who paid $45,000 for a little white house by the train tracks in northeast Houston, where he is raising his children “on construction-worker sweat.” Only $400 away from owning the home, he had no flood insurance so he lost it all.

Also devastated, a doctor specializing in family medicine, who is raising his three children in a two-story brick home “on tree-lined streets full of comfortable professionals” and where the average house is valued at $700,000. His family was terrified as they fled to upper levels as water climbed into the home.

“Now they are united in soggy duress,” the author wrote.

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, one of the city’s most influential pastors, said the widespread destruction was “unfathomable.” “North, south, east, west, the paralysis knows no boundaries.”

While clean-up and recovery from the storms continue, so do new controversies. As I write this column, the N.F.L. is in a showdown with our president about whether to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the suppression of black people. Despite our differences when tragedy strikes the U.S., whether a terrorist attack or a weather phenomenon, our people come together to help each other. I hope we will always do so.

“No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:13